I Assumed the Traditional Practices Worked...
I suspended my disbelief for years because I assumed that the well revered ancient practices were good for me. But as I got more honest with myself I realized that most of them weren’t working their magic on my system.
Different strokes for different folks.
From time to time I get asked about the styles of yogic breath. In addition to yoga breathing techniques I also studied different Taoist breathing patterns in graduate school. I got my education. But for me the most effective breath work is simple.
As a point of focus while meditating I watch myself breathe without trying to fix, change or control it in anyway. I love how the breath is something that happens effortlessly and so I practice trusting what my body does without my intellect getting in its way. At this point in my life I don’t believe there is a better or worse style of breathing. I’m breathing that means I’m alive! Without any effort my heart naturally pumps oxygenated blood thoughout my body and my body heals. How awesome is that?! This style of meditation helps me release into my “human beingness” and get out of that “human doing” thing I that spend most of my time doing.
Still sometimes in preparation for work that requires more specifically channeled energy: when I’m trying to accomplish something. I like the breathing style used in microcircuit meditation. It’s a Taoist technique. Look it up if you are interested. (I’ll make a video for you on it soon as well). For me it’s focused, simple, calming and stabilizing.
I like using the ujjayi breath sometimes when I’m practicing because it’s also stabilising.
These are the techniques I use for myself at this point in time. But I do like to try on different techniques that teachers offer. Maybe one day in a class I’ll learn or rediscover something that resonates with me. Maybe I’ll change my breathing practices- probably… but maybe not. Either way I trust what my instincts tell me is right above all else.